Dairy Exports Set Another Record In First Half

US - Dairy product exports for the January-through-June period 2011 set new records this year, both in terms of product volume and dollar value, writes Bob Yonkers for International Dairy Foods Association.
calendar icon 7 September 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

The US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service reports that over 1.9 billion pounds of US dairy products left the country for destinations abroad in the first six months of the year. This exceeds the previous January-June record of 1.66 billion pounds set just last year.

In terms of dollar value, US dairy exports from January through June of this year totaled just over $2.3 billion, eclipsing the previous record of $2.1 billion set in 2008.

A combination of higher world dairy market prices and this year’s record export volumes combined for an increase of $580 million in value this year over the same period in 2010.

At the same time, US imports of dairy products continue to remain at historically low levels. The total volume of dairy imports during January through June of this year was 477 million pounds. This was nearly identical to the same period last year; in fact, dairy import volumes during the first half of 2010 and 2011 are the lowest since 1999, when 454 million pounds arrived here during those six months.

The dollar value of US dairy product imports in the first half of 2011 was $1.148 billion, an increase of $157 million from last year. Despite higher world dairy market prices this year, lower import volumes ensured that the total value of dairy imports so far this year remained below the record of $1.313 billion set in 2008.

It is impossible to ignore the positive impact the increasing global trade is having on the US dairy industry.

The US Dairy Export Council estimates that over 13 per cent of farm milk solids production was exported in the first half of 2011. In addition, higher international dairy market prices and reduced barriers to trade through trade agreements and policy reforms in other countries have made the US a key dairy exporter.

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